UNESCO organizes int'l symposium on sexuality education

Paris, France (PANA) - UNESCO is to organize an international symposium in New York, US, on 27 April to address ways of improving sexuality education in schools and filling the gaps in young people’s knowledge about HIV.

The symposium is convened by the UNAIDS Inter-Agency Task Team (IATT) on Education, UNESCO said in a press statement from its headquarters in Paris, France.

UNESCO said it decided to organize the symposium because "Today, fewer than 40% of young men and women in the world are well informed about HIV and how it is transmitted. We are far from the goal set in 2001 at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV and AIDS: to empower 95% of all young people with knowledge about HIV and AIDS by 2010. Increasing knowledge is all the more urgent as young people aged 15-24 account for 45% of all new HIV infections."

According to the statement, the symposium will bring together representatives of the IATT member institutions, bilateral agencies, private donors and civil society.

It will review sexuality education programmes in selected countries, particularly in the 17 priority countries identified by UNAIDS -- Botswana, Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Ukraine, Tanzania, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

For the first time, the findings of an international study on the comparative cost and cost-effectiveness of sexuality education programmes in Kenya, Nigeria, India, Indonesia, Estonia and The Netherlands will be released.

Discussion will be based on the International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education (2009).

Published by UNESCO and developed with other UN agencies, the document is aimed at health and education professionals. It presents the rationale for sexuality education and provides technical advice on subjects to be covered and goals to be attained – according to the age group targeted – to implement basic sexuality education.

Onesmus M. Kiminza, Senior Deputy Director, Kenya Ministry of Education, will present the case of Kenya, which has relied on the Technical Guidance to revise and reinforce its sexuality education programmes with technical support from UNESCO, Family Health International and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

IATT on Education was created in 2002 to improve HIV and AIDS education and to encourage coordinated responses among UN agencies.
-0- PANA PR/VAO 20April2011

20 avril 2011 14:24:19

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